When to Hire a Lean Manufacturing Consultant
When to Hire a Lean Manufacturing Consultant:
Welcome back to Lightning Problem Solving, where we keep you up to date on cutting edge manufacturing and problem-solving techniques.
Today I’m going to be addressing a question I get asked all the time, which is,
When is it time to hire a manufacturing consultant?
By the time a company gets around to asking me this question, my answer is normally, “About 2 years ago!” But unless they’re farther along in their Time Machine building process than I am, we generally just have to work forward from the present. Since flux capacitors are tricky business, I’m going to help you out! Near the end of this blog, you’ll find a checklist you can use to evaluate whether or not you need to hire a manufacturing consultant.
As a Lightning Fast Problem Solver, when I walk into a manufacturing facility, I’m on the lookout for “something” that’s been overlooked. And in just three days I locate it! The revenue saved as a result of this brief time span helps that company enough to MORE THAN pay for any consulting fees incurred.
Sometimes a company is already profitable and is just looking for a way to increase their bottom line. Other times the manufacturing company is struggling to turn a profit altogether.
Consultant=A fresh pair of eyes
A consultant is a fresh set of trained, outside eyes that can provide invaluable insight into your company. A good consultant should be able to walk into your facility and point your in the right direction in just a few short days.“3 short days is all it should take for a consultant to size up the situation and point you in the right direction.” Click To Tweet
Occasionally it takes longer than 3 days to provide the supervision necessary to train the employees in following through with a new system. But by the time the company’s culture successfully shifts enough to maintain new standards, hiring a good consultant always more than pays for itself in the long run! It’s a no-brainer!
I’ve noticed that people tend to get “tunnel vision” after 9 months of working at a company. For instance, I see extremely talented people that actually know all the answers not being used to their fullest potential. Maybe they think, “Well, this isn’t my job.” Or they throw their hands up in frustration and say, “Well, it just won’t happen at this company.” When management decides to hire a consultant, those people are always the first to say, “Finally, this company decided to do something!”
If I stay at a particular corporation for more than 9 months, even I would need to keep renewing my thinking to make sure I didn’t fall into their culture!
Another thing I see all the time is the 80/20 rule. This simply means 80% of the useful work is done by 20% of the employees. So I don’t get stuck on titles.‘Whether they work in Quality, Operations, Manufacturing, or Training, they just need “somebody” to be driving the lean environment. And that’s where a consultant comes in.’ Click To Tweet
I know you’ve been waiting patiently for it – so here’s that checklist I promised you. Are you ready to evaluate whether it’s time for your company to hire a manufacturing consultant? Buckle up, because where we’re going, we don’t need roads!
If you have:
- A problem that is not getting solved
- Target goals consistently not being met
- ANY scrap whatsoever or inability to manage high scrap costs
- Skyrocketing warranty costs
- Staff that seem to be un-trainable (Maybe you have an “old dog” that needs to be taught “new tricks”, or a young “smarty pants” that thinks they know everything)
- Managers that are not driving the results required
- Business that doesn’t support a lean culture and needs transformation
- Employees all doing different things instead of followingStandardized Work (If you’re not familiar with Standardized Work, it means your employees should perform their tasks without variation, similar to programmed robots)
- Processes that frequently require the “magic touch” of your best employees (Because what that really means is that most of your employees are improperly trained!)
- If you need a schedule fitting your specific facility a schedule that perfectly implements Lean Manufacturing to save the most money and make the most profits
- If you need assistance implementing a world class training matrix that drives perfection with minimal managerial reinforcement
- Maybe you need support running Kaizan Events
- A DOE you could use help running
- If you’re uncertain how to set the right targets
If you just mentally ticked “YES” to any of these items, you’re in luck and hiring a good consultant will more than pay for itself!“Companies tell me frequently that they don’t know what targets to set.” Click To Tweet
Companies often tell me they don’t know what targets to set. They don’t know what a world-class scrap rate would be for their industry, or how much they should be spending in warranty per month. Maybe they’re making great money, but they’re also leaving a considerable amount of money on the table.
Hopefully reading this has saved YOU a little time and heartache so I’m going to sweeten the pot – if you watch the video, I share an exclusive motivational hint regarding suppliers!
If you’ve gone through this evaluation and decided that it’s time to hire a consultant, feel free to contact me. And if I’m not the right guy for your job, I have lots of connections. I can put you in touch with someone who is!
It will comfort you to know I’ve never been surprised by a problem. I’ve seen every type of problem out there.“Every problem is solvable.” Click To Tweet
Sometimes companies just need a different way of looking at their issues. A fresh set of trained eyes is often all it takes to make the difference!
Why let an untrained engineer engulfed in your company’s culture work a Lean Manufacturing problem? What they accomplish over an indefinite time period someone like myself could solve in 3 days. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one!
I always love hearing from you guys! Let me know in the comments below…
- What do you think makes a “good” consultant?
- If your consultant had super-powers, what would those powers be, and how would they help your company?
If this blog or video has helped you, be sure to click “like” and subscribe to my channel so you’ll never miss out on any Lightning Problem Solving tips! Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!